The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF) has expressed its grave concern over the possibility of Pakistan to remain on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) beyond Feb 2020, urging the government to make strong efforts to achieve all targets of the watchdog so that the country could be steered out of this list.
With a view to save the economy from any possible harmful consequences and and to encourage foreign investors for making new investments in Pakistan the all stakeholders, especially the government, will have to make utmost efforts for Pakistan’s exit from the grey list addressing all those structural deficiencies that caused Pakistan’s entry into it, observed PIAF chairman Mian Nauman Kabir.
He said that India had failed to push Pakistan into FATF black list and added that the country had been given various tasks till February 2020. He hoped that the government would achieve all the targets and bring the country out of grey list. He said that India was facing crises as the world had neglected their viewpoint and international civil society pointed out curfew and human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir.
“Its appreciable that the government was optimistic to achieve sufficient progress for the country to be removed from the grey list, but it should also remember that performance would also being reviewed simultaneously for a 40-point action plan of the Asia-Pacific Group for which the deadline was October 2020.”.
Mian Nauman Kabir said due to inclusion in grey list the country has already been facing decline in foreign investment as investors hesitated to invest here. The scenario of foreign direct investment in Pakistan is already not encouraging while fear of Pakistan’s inclusion in black list may further worsen the situation.
PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed said that Pakistans’ continuity in grey list has been tarnishing the soft image of the country, shattering the confidence of foreign banks and investors. He said stigma of a doubtful country always portrays a negative image to the world and convey the impression that financial system of Pakistan is weak and effective measures are not being taken to control money laundering or financing groups that are banned.
He said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last month had announced that Pakistan will remain on its grey list for the next four months, handing it a final lifeline after acknowledging recent improvements.
The task force asked the government to take more measures for complete elimination of terror financing and money laundering while expressing serious concerns over the lack of progress in addressing terror financing risks.
Since June 2018, when government made a high-level commitment to work with the FATF and the Asia-Pacific Group to strengthen its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terror financing (CTF) regime, Pakistan has made progress towards improving its AML/CFT regime.